Poem in Your Pocket Day opens up in Erie on Thursday, April 27

Poem in Your Pocket Day

The Writing Studio and the Erie County Library, in partnership with local groups promoting literacy, education and the arts, celebrated Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 27. The Erie event took place on National Poem in Your Pocket Day, which has been celebrated since 2002 as part of National Poetry Month in April.

From Erie’s Bayfront to Summit Township, volunteers fanned out Thursday to pass out poems rolled into scrolls and tied with ribbons. The poems come from “Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets” and “Poem in Your Pocket: 200 Poems to Read and Carry.” Both volumes are published by the Academy of American Poets.

Erie’s Poem in Your Pocket Day was celebrated at Blasco Library, at Gannon University, at the Neighborhood Art House, at Springhill Senior Living and at various spots along State Street in downtown Erie where the Poet Laureate of Erie County, Marisa Moks-Unger, helped distribute poems to passers-bye.

“We handed out poems to patrons all day long, plus we have displays of poetry books and we have an interactive poetry activity where you can take up a poem you wrote yourself,” says Marcy Hall, coordinator of adult services for the Erie County Library.

Unfurl the scroll and you could find a short poem by a well-known literary figure, such as Langston Hughes, e.e. cummings, Edna St. Vincent Millay or Emily Dickinson. Or you might discover a new contemporary writer.

Perhaps you will savor the images in Mary Oliver’s poem, “Rain in Ohio,” or giggle as you get tongue-tied reading “Eletelephony” by Laura E. Richards. And what picture will come to mind if you get a copy of “You Travel a Path on Paper,” by Fanny Howe, or “The Bean Eaters,” by Gwendolyn Brooks?

“Everyone likes to be given an unexpected gift, and to give a poem is to spread beauty, inspire reflection and promote compassion,” says Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB, coordinator of the Writing Studio. “We are hoping that those who received a poem, not only put it in their pockets, but share it with someone else.”

The Writing Studio, a collective of women writers and literacy advocates, is located at the Studio at St. Mary’s, 310 E. 10th St. The studio sponsors writing workshops, author readings, book discussions, literary public art projects, literary activities for women in transition and initiatives to celebrate National Poetry Month.

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The Writing Studio is part of The Studio at Saint Mary’s: Space to Create, where studio space is available for artists and innovative programs that can positively impact center-city Erie. For more information, contact Holly Nowak.